No room for complacency

September 23, 2010

Zillul Hye Razi
The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) of the European Union (EU) is a preferential trade arrangement that allows reduced or zero import duties for imports from developing countries. It is a unilateral arrangement and includes the Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement, which grants duty and quota-free access to all goods, except arms originating in the least-developed countries (LDCs).
The EBA arrangement is applicable for an indefinite period, while regular the GSP and GSP Plus are reviewed and could be changed after a specific period Read more

One step ahead

August 30, 2010

Sarwar Ahmed
As you step out of the lift at the entrance of an outstandingly modern, crisp and clean office, you see an oil painting of a lion and a lamb lazing together. If the painting is a paradox, so is the story of Imdad Haque, a 55-year-old Bangladeshi who locked horns with his future. He has offices sprawling from New York to Moscow, Hamburg, Vienna, Ankara, Dubai, Singapore and recently in Dhaka.
Since early in life, Imdad was a go-getter, a value instilled in him by his late father. His father was an army personnel, and Imdad helping, were the first to train the youth of Read more

The hidden costs of traffic

August 22, 2010

Brendan Weston
The city’s traffic has grown increasingly crowded and chaotic for more than a decade, and is a disaster even by the standards of less developed countries (LDCs). Productivity is suffering, as workers with once-short commuting distances now make glacial progress in gridlocked daytime traffic that averages barely five miles an hour. Crowded into dilapidated, steamy, fume-belching private buses, they arrive to work tired, perspiring, short of breath and tainted by dust. Those with cars inch along, tapping their horns their cell phone out and A/C blasting, getting atrocious fuel Read more

Bridging the divide

August 19, 2010

Sarwar Ahmed
It was hot and humid with an overcast sky. As we stopped to talk to farmers about progress of rice transplantation near Soling More Bazar, at Mowna, Gazipur, the water flowing through the wayside ditch was not the usual mud colour. It was bluish-black, with a disagreeable smell.
In the midst of rice fields, how on earth did this meandering dyed wastewater flow? In the distant horizon, a manufacturing unit was visible, where the dyed waste was being dumped in the open, creating this unnatural Read more

Sub-standards and testing

August 19, 2010

BSTI reform via private partners
Habibullah N Karim
On August 5, the commerce minister and the prime minister’s economic adviser shared views with members of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the impediments in the path of bolstering exports to India, our largest neighbour with whom we happen to have a very hefty trade deficit.
Despite bilateral negotiations and even some unilateral trade concessions from India, our exports remain a fraction of the more than $3 billion that India annually exports to us. Does this mean we don’t have anything the Indians want? Nothing can be farther from the truth — as seen in the Read more

The ex-factor

July 11, 2010

Sarwar Ahmed
As the bus took a late evening break at a restaurant during our journey to Bogra, we wanted to eat light as dinner wasn’t too far off. We asked the young boy who waited on us, what was available. Off he went reciting rapid-fire, a list of tummy filling, yummy items. Anything light to eat? I asked. A chicken sandwich he suggested with a big smile, though a chicken kebab would be more palatable, he went on. So we settled for the kebab, which was done well and did taste more of spices than of chicken meat. Russel, as he was being called, Read more

Eyes on green banking

June 6, 2010

Mamun Rashid
A green bank is a bank that promotes environmental and social responsibility but operates as a traditional community bank and provides excellent services to investors and clients. Its progressive approach to the community and the earth sets it apart from other banks.
It is more about focusing on ‘mother planet and its sustainability’, shifting from a traditional approach on ‘profit’ or even ‘people’. Green banking is not just another corporate social responsibility Read more

Branding Bangladesh

April 26, 2010

Mamun Rashid
“A name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors” — that is how marketing guru Philip Kotler defines “Brand”. In other words, a brand is basically a name used to identify and distinguish a specific product, service, or business.
Nation branding is substantially different from product branding and can be explained in many different ways. Nowadays we hear catchy tag lines used by several nations for promoting tourism in their countries, for Read more

Population, a growth engine

March 9, 2010

Rohan Samarajiva
I was surprised, during my last stay in Dhaka, to read a magazine article about Bangladesh’s “population problem” that made no reference to demographic structure. Modern scholarship no longer sees population solely as a burden, understanding that the relevant question is not about the size of the population as such, but about its demographic structure, the way the population is distributed across different age groups.
When the demographic structure is such that there is a “boom”, or an unusually large generation in the Read more

Digital innovation fair: An assessment

March 8, 2010

Habibullah N Karim
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on March 4 inaugurated the first-ever government sponsored ICT fair of the country at Bangabandhu Novo Theatre complex in Dhaka.
The country has had many ICT fairs since the late eighties but those are all sponsored and organised by the private sector. The Digital Innovation Fair is the first by the government, of the government and for the government — mostly.
Since taking the reins of the government in January last year, the AL-led coalition has been vigorously advocating the virtues of going digital. The vision of Read more

Bangladesh IT industry going global

January 6, 2010

From The Daily Star
Bangladesh IT industry going global
Habibullah N Karim
The information technology industry in Bangladesh has gradually come of age and today accounts for more than Taka 25 billion or USD350 million in annual revenues.
It is still a tiny blip compared to a GDP nearing USD100 billion but it’s a noticeable blip that is growing markedly every year.
Twenty years ago the IT industry was predominantly a hardware vendors market with little or no value addition locally. Today there are more than Read more

Dhaka celebrating 400 years to project her glorious past

October 22, 2009

From WeeklyHoliday
Abdur Rahman Khan
A nation cannot progress without having a clear conviction and pride in her past glories. A citizen develops the feeling of esteem for his or her heritage through learning about the country’s historical and cultural legacy.
This is why the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (ASB) have planned a three-year programme for the celebration of 400 years of Dhaka city as the capital, says Professor Dr Sharif uddin Ahmed, Chief Coordinator and Chief Editor of the celebration programme.
Launched in September 2008, the three-year programme will continue till September Read more

Remittance and liquidity

October 11, 2009

Ma Taslim
The governor of Bangladesh Bank seems to have come out of the early euphoria over the central bank’s rapidly increasing international reserves caused largely by remittances.
Like most other people he was convinced of the virtues of an ever-increasing flow of remittances and large reserves. But the balance sheet of his bank, and that of the rest of the financial system that he supervises, seem to have nudged him to the realisation that it is not an unmixed blessings.
In his speech to the Small States Forum 2009 at Istanbul, he hinted at Read more

Maoists returning to power in Nepal?

August 10, 2009

Shamsuddin Ahmed
Are the Maoists returning to power or taking over power in Nepal? UCPN Maoist supreme leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda has claimed Tuesday his party will soon form a national government. He did not elaborate how UCPN (Maoist) will form the national government. Will he succeed to rally support of the majority members in parliament or the President will install the party in power by virtue of its single majority in the House by a decree.
“We will soon form a national government with the power of people’s movement,” he told a party meeting. After ruling the country for Read more

Recession phobia

May 25, 2009

Md. Shairul Mashreque
AT the beginning of the new millennium the world has been beset by an insurmountable challenge in the wake of global recession. Economic downhill-slide in major capitalist countries in the north, which boast of having strong economies, threatens to affect countries in the south — especially the least developed countries (LDCs).
The economically poor countries are now feeling the shattering impact of the domineering role of the north in open market operations. Our economy might become stagnant because of the global recession. The crisis faced by many a country in America, Europe and Asia is a “danger with a Read more

« Previous PageNext Page »